Wisco Wednesday: Moving On

Mistakes and Bad Luck Against OSU. Some Michigan Thoughts. I Pity Wisconsin’s next Opponent. 

This is a weird Wisco Wednesday piece if I’m being honest. The meat is in the middle where I look at what’s going on around the rest of the B1G. I don’t have as many thoughts about last week’s game vs. OSU or about next week’s at Indiana. TL;DR: Ohio State is good, so we lost; Indiana is bad, so we will win. The rest of the Big Ten, now that’s interesting. What happens with Michigan? Iowa pre-fired a coach, but they get to stay with the team through the bowl game. I still have stuff to say about the Badgers though, so read the whole article if that’s what you’re here for. It is Wisco Wednesday after all.

Looking Back: Braelon Drops, Locke > McCord, WRs with Feet for Hands

Ohio State 24
Wisconsin 10

It was 10-10 in the 3rd Quarter

This was not a blowout. Wisconsin did everything wrong and was still in a  position to win this game. Imagine if the Badgers did everything right instead. 

Imagine Braelon and Dike don’t get hurt. Imagine the punting is better. Imagine Pauling gets that TD right before half, instead of settling for a field goal. This game was right there.

It was a 7 point game in the 4th quarter despite all the problems I just stated. And then a no-call, catch-preventing, obvious pass interference prevents Wisconsin from continuing a decent drive in the 4th. 

Wisconsin punts. OSU drives down the field. About 6 Badgers forget how to tackle on 1 play. OSU, RB Henderson scores. Ohio State is up 14, and it’s over.  

Everything went wrong, and Wisconsin still had a shot. That is a sign of progress. 

Braelon’s Fumble and Braelon’s Fall

What could go wrong, did go wrong. That fact cannot be more exemplified than by Braelon Allen’s performance on Saturday.

On the Badgers’ first drive of the game: Braelon fumbled and it was recovered by Ohio State.

Late in the 2nd quarter: Braelon injured his ankle and missed the rest of the game.

He messed up, then got injured, and the Badgers had to play the 2nd half without their best player.

WTF Punting

Wisconsin got out punted last Saturday. That’s not something I normally complain about, but it was bad. They punted 6 times with an average of 38 yards per punt. None were inside the 20 yard-line. Most were barely past mid-field. All 6 were low wobblers that were returnable. In a big game against OSU, special teams was the opposite of buttoned-up.

The low scoring contest turned into a field position battle, and Wisconsin was always out of position. Where Ohio State often started drives at mid-field, Wisco had to start back up against their own endzone. 

To add insult to injury, the punter, Bertrams, was a transfer brought in by Fickell to improve Bucky’s special teams unit. Oh, and Fickell has designated himself as the Special Teams coordinator. So this is his mess, and his mess alone. 

Things Look Bright With Locke

I put it in the heading above, but I’ll say it again: Locke > McCord.

That’s what I saw last Saturday. 

The stats:
McCord – 17/26, 226 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
Locke – 18/39, 165 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs

So why do I think Locke was the better QB? Wisco’s WRs have feet for hands. They dropped everything. We’re talking 6+ drops where the ball hits the guy right in the hands. This isn’t even counting solid, 50/50 balls where it would be nice if the WR made a play. OSU’s guys didn’t drop a thing, McCord just had 9 missed throws. Locke missed maybe 10-12? AND, Locke had 0 INTs!! That’s huge. If OSU somehow lost this game, McCord’s 2 bad picks would be the very first thing that fans would point to as “the problem.

In the QB battle last week, I’m declaring Locke the winner. That has me excited for the rest of the season, and especially excited for 2024. Lock might be “that dude.”

Around the B1G: The West and What to Do With Michigan

Who wins the West?

Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska all have 2 conference losses. That means they all have a shot to win the dreadful B1G West Division. Here’s where each stands today:

  • Minnesota already has head-to-head over Iowa and Nebraska… But MN still has to play Ohio State.
  • Nebraska still has to play Wisconsin and Iowa.
  • Iowa just lost to MN. If they win out, and if MN loses to OSU, they win the West. Do we really think Iowa can win out?
  • Wisconsin wins out and Iowa loses a game, then Bucky wins the West. Do we really think Wisconsin can win out?

I don’t know what will happen because I don’t know if any of these teams have the ability to win 4 in a row to end the season. And guessing who they’ll lose to, that’s an impossible task. We’ll just have to wait and see. 

What Will Happen to Michigan?

Did Michigan cheat? Almost certainly.

Does it mean they won games they wouldn’t have this year? Absolutely not.

Does it mean they won games they wouldn’t have in the last 2 years? Maybe, and we may never know.

Do you care about the rules Michigan broke? This is up to interpretation; I will say they likely went above and beyond what any other program has done when it comes to advanced scouting. 

With all that out of the way. Let’s talk about what really matters. What happens now? It’s safe to assume that all games from this point on will be “fair” because Michigan’s advanced scouting has ground to a halt by the ongoing investigations. That means all the results from here onwards will be legitimate. Right?

Based on that logic: if Michigan wins the title this year, it’s legitimate. Right?

That feels like a mess to answer. Because, trying to cheat, and successfully cheating are basically the same. Right? I’m not crazy here, am I?

The NCAA will take 2+ years to deal with this, that’s just how fast they operate. It sucks, but it is what it is. Even if they had a ruling tomorrow, Michigan would have 90 days to respond to that ruling to start the back and forth process. The season will be over by then. And let’s say Michigan does win the title, and then it’s vacated 2 years from now. We’ll all know Michigan still won a title in 2023. It’s not like Georgia or OSU will claim the 2023 title in response. 

It’s also very unlikely the playoff committee will do anything. They could put Michigan at 5th in the final poll – because they feel like it. But it’s more likely the voters won’t want any of this on their hands, so they will choose to wait until an NCAA ruling… 2 years from now

There is a final party that could make things interesting this year. The Big Ten Conference. The B1G can suspend Harbaugh, impose penalties and fines, or ban Michigan from the title game at its own discretion. Now, it does not benefit the B1G to punish one of their own, so they probably won’t do anything. Unless of course there is just too much pressure from the other 13 B1G members to act. 

Of the options at the B1G’s disposal, banning Michigan from the B1G Championship game would be the most impactful, and the most interesting – especially if Michigan beats Ohio State in week 13. 

What would the playoff committee do with:
12-0 Michigan – with a win over OSU
12-1 Ohio State – B1G Champion

Could “punishing” Michigan get 2 B1G teams into the final 4-team playoff?

Just a thought the B1G office might consider as the season plays out.

Iowa’s Offensive Nightmare has an Expiration Date

Iowa OC Brian Ferentz was tasked with scoring 25 points per game this season. He is currently at 19.5 (with help from the Defense and Special Teams). The writing is on the wall. It’s over. The O/U for Iowa at Northwestern this weekend opened at a record low 29.5 points. That’s for both teams combined. That’s ridiculous. 

Iowa’s AD (interim) decided enough was enough and Brian Ferentz will no longer be employed by Iowa football following this season’s bowl game. The 25 point mark be damned; they’re calling it over already. Early reports suggest Brian’s father, head coach Kirk Ferentz, was surprised by the “firing” of his son and is not pleased with the decision. 

Kirk better keep this team on the rails, or he might be next. 

Looking Forward: Indiana is in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time


This preview may be shorter than normal WOF Badgers previews. There’s not a lot to say about Indiana, and there’s not a lot of new questions about Wisconsin right now. 

With that said, please proceed.

  • Odds listed were taken from FanDuel at the time of writing.

Game Preview: Wisconsin at Indiana


Wisconsin -9.5




Memorial Stadium – Bloomington, Indiana

Kickoff Time:

11:00 AM CT

TV Network:


Who’s a Hoosier?

Anyone in Indiana 

It’s a low bar to clear. If you live in Indiana, you are a Hoosier. What a mascot.

O’for in Conference

Indiana is a resounding 0-5 in Big Ten play. That is bad. Only Michigan State is equally pitiful so far this season (Also 0-5). I don’t have much to add here, Wisconsin should handle the Hoosiers with ease this week – or we will have major issues to discuss next Wednesday.

How did they scare Penn State?

Big Pass, that’s how.

They had no run game to speak of and were only 13/19 passing. But those 13 completions went for 269 yards and 3 TDs. They lived (and died) by the big pass. 

They have no conference wins, but they sure as hell scared Nittany Lions fans last Saturday.  I don’t know how, but Indiana looked like the better team in the 1st half. It was 17-14 at the half, PSU on top, but PSU did not look good. The final score reflects this too. 33-24 is not a blowout. Penn State escaped with the win. Did PSU have a bad day? Or did Indiana learn how to play football?

The answer matters for Bucky’s upcoming road trip.

 If you want a reason to be concerned this weekend, just look at last week. Maybe Indiana is back from the dead. Maybe they have a pulse now. Maybe they will start winning some games. That’s a lot of maybes. But it would be unfortunate if Indiana finally put things together as Bucky rolls into town expecting a bounce back win. 

How they’ve done so far:

Indiana is 2-6 right now. They are in a heated race with Michigan State for the worst team in the Big Ten. 

Week 1: Lost 3-23 at home vs. Ohio State
Week 2: Won 41-7 at home vs. Indiana State (FCS)
Week 3: Lost 14-21 at Lucas Oil Stadium vs. Louisville
Week 4: Won 29-27 at home vs. Akron
Week 5: Lost 17-44 at Maryland
Week 6: Bye Week
Week 7: Lost 7-52 at Michigan
Week 8: Lost 14-31 at home vs. Rutgers
Week 9: Lost 24-33 at Penn State

They’ve lost 4 games in a row. Their only FBS win is at home vs. Akron… in OT. I’ll say it again for those in the back: Indiana is bad.

What to Watch for the Badgers

Bounce Back Time

Indiana is about to die. The Badgers are in need of a big bounce back win to revitalize the team for the November stretch. Whoever they played this week was going to get an energized Wisconsin team. It just so happens the victim is an Indiana team that has been struggling all season – that’s putting it lightly. The Badgers need to remind themselves they are a good team. What better way to do that than by humiliating Indiana in front of their own fans? 

Does Braelon Play? Does He Need To?

Braelon Allen has a bum ankle. Based on how he looked lying on the turf in Camp Randall, I expected the injury to be season ending. Instead, he is questionable for Saturday’s 11 AM kickoff. To me, that is a miracle. I would be shocked if he played. One, because the injury was bad enough he never returned in the OSU game. 

And two, because I don’t think we need him. Acker filled in as lead back against OSU way better than one might have expected. Indiana isn’t in the same galaxy as OSU. Let Acker carry the load against the Hoosiers and see how Yacamelli does as RB2.  If the game gets tight in the 4th quarter (it shouldn’t) just run Acker up the middle till it’s over. 

Stop the Run Pls

This will be a heading every week until it happens. I have nothing more to add on the subject though. Just check out last week’s Wisco Wednesday if you want some elaboration on the subject.

My Picks*

Wisconsin proved they can hang with OSU in my mind. Indiana is trash. I expect a bloodbath in Bloomington. Below are the picks I’d make for the game- if I had to.


Take Wisconsin -9.5

Wisco just covered vs. OSU. Keep the train rolling. With or without Braelon, Bucky covers with ease. 


Over 45.5

Wisconsin Unders have been trendy this season, BUT, I expect this to look more like the road trip to West Lafayette. In that game back in week 4 Wisco started hot and had a comfortable lead for most of the game. The over hit because Bucky scored in the 30s. Wisconsin has a similar result for Indiana road trip round 2. 

How I did last week:

Picking the Winner: Won – Ohio State won
Picking the Spread: Won – Wisconsin covered
Picking the O/U: Won – The Under hit

A perfect game last week. I would have rather been wrong picking the winner though.

Season-Long Record Picking Wisconsin Games:

Picking the Winner: 7-1
Picking the Spread: 6-2
Picking the O/U: 5-3

I might know something about Wisconsin football.

*These picks are to express my opinion on games from a point spread perspective. I am not advocating for you, the reader, to gamble on any of these games. Please bet responsibly.

Back-to-Work Score Prediction:

Wisconsin 38
Indiana 17

It’s the exact same score as the Purdue game. Braelon will sit out, but we won’t need him because Indiana is that much worse than Purdue. Locke will look like “that dude,” and there will be excitement heading into the final 3 games of the season. The defense will do fine, allowing 17, but I  complain that we still can’t stop the run. 


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This article was written by Cole Tollison and edited by Hayden Breene

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